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Published
July 2, 2024
Category
Citizenship by investment programs

Top Cheapest Citizenship by Investment Programs: Requirements and Benefits

In our contemporary world, holding multiple citizenships has never been more apparent. People are seeking global mobility, better quality of life, favorable tax systems, and expanded business opportunities. As the second passport can offer a wealth of benefits, individuals are in constant search of ways to obtain it.  Citizenship by Investment programs can be a good pick for high-net-worth individuals and those who opt to obtain citizenship the fastest way possible.  

In this article, we’ve compiled the top cheapest citizenship by investment programs, highlighted the main factors influencing the program costs, and outlined the main benefits that can be obtained. 

Key Takeaways

  • Citizenship through investment programs, or Golden Visas, provides a gateway to second citizenship for those who want better living conditions, financial opportunities, and high-quality public services.
  • Due diligence fees, family inclusion, legal and professional fees, and primary investment are among the factors influencing the cost of citizenship by investment.
  • The cheapest citizenship by investment programs is offered by the Caribbean islands of St. Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, St Lucia, Grenada, and North Macedonia.
  • At Mirabello Consultancy, expert guidance is provided to those who are in search of the cheapest citizenship through an investment program.

What are Citizenship by Investment Programs?

Citizenship by investment programs, also known as Golden Visas, are government initiatives that allow wealthy individuals to obtain a new citizenship or a passport by making a significant amount of investment in a host country. The key objective of these programs is to attract foreign investment and diversify the country’s economy. They often provide a direct route to citizenship without the need for lengthy residence periods or language proficiency. 

Citizenship by investment programs offers ample perks, including the right to live, work, and study in the host country, visa-free travel to a wide range of countries, potential tax advantages, and access to better education, healthcare, and lifestyle opportunities. 

Factors Influencing the Cost of Citizenship by Investment

The costs of citizenship by investment programs can vary significantly depending on the country. The primary investment or the base cost is the largest expense an investor should expect. However, there are other fees associated with citizenship by investment programs. It’s worth mentioning that most countries minimize the total costs by lowering the auxiliary expenses for the investors. 

1. The Primary Investment

The main cost of citizenship by investment program is the contribution required to qualify for the program. Typically, the investment is made in real estate, government funds, bank deposits, and business investments. The amount of contribution may vary from $100,000 to several million dollars. 

2. Due Diligence Fees

Let’s first understand what a Due Diligence Check is. It’s an audit that systematically analyzes the investor’s financial, legal, and operational aspects to ensure the applicant has no disqualifying factors. The purpose is to identify potential risks, liabilities, financial burdens, and criminal records that could potentially impact the success of an investment. The cost for a Due Diligence Check varies from several to tens of thousands of dollars.

3. Family Inclusions

The number of family members included in the application can increase the overall cost. Higher investments will be required if a spouse, children, parents, or even grandparents are included. 

4. Legal and Professional Fees

As the process requires professional assistance, investors usually choose special agencies to guide them through the whole process. These agencies ensure that all documentation is correctly submitted and everything runs smoothly. 

5. Processing Time

The timeframe at which citizenship is granted can greatly affect the overall financial planning and cost considerations. For instance, holding real estate for a specific period until citizenship is granted can introduce additional costs. These costs can significantly vary from one country to another.

6. Other Fees

The auxiliary fees associated with citizenship through investment programs include fees for application, medical examinations, translation and legalization costs, insurance, and more. 

It’s very important to note that before applying for citizenship through an investment program, one should carefully consider all the costs that might arise along the way. 

Top Cheapest Citizenship by Investment Programs in the World

The Caribbean

1. Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda is one of the greatest countries to invest. From beautiful beaches to economic stability and a favorable tax regime - this country has more to offer. Launched in 2012, Citizenship through an investment program gives investors a chance to become Antigua and Barbuda citizens.

  • Minimum investment Amount 

Antigua National Development Fund - 100,000 USD

Real estate purchase - 200,000 USD

Business Investment - 1,5 mln USD

  • Benefits
    • Visa-free travel to 150 countries
    • No taxes on personal income, capital gains, and inheritance
    • A picturesque country with a stable economy
    • Booming tourism industry
    • Favorable living conditions

Note: From July 1, 2024, there will be a probable increase in the minimum investment amount.

2. St Kitts and Nevis

St Kitts and Nevis is the first country to launch citizenship through an investment program. It gives foreign investors an opportunity to obtain permanent legal St Kitts and Nevis citizenship. Among the reasons why investors prefer St. Kitts and Nevis are the low tax rate on personal income, no taxes on capital gains, and a 10% corporate tax rate. 

  • Minimum investment Amount 

Sustainable island state contribution - 250,000 USD

Real estate purchase - 400,000 USD

Public benefit investment - 400,000 USD

  • Benefits
    • Fast processing time for getting a passport within 45 to 60 days
    • No requirements to live in St. Kitts and Nevis
    • Visa-free travel to 161 countries
    • The low tax rate on personal income
    • Stunning natural scenery

3. St. Lucia

Introduced in 2015, the St. Lucia investment program gives endless opportunities for investors. The country is an attractive destination offering a peaceful lifestyle, economic opportunities, and a secure future. Hence, many investors opt for the St. Lucia passport as a secondary citizenship.

  • Minimum investment Amount 

National Economic Fund - 100,000 USD

Real estate purchase - 250,000 USD

Government bonds - 300,000 USD

  • Benefits
    • Fast processing time for getting a passport within 4 months
    • No requirements to live in St. Lucia
    • Visa-free travel to 138 countries
    • No personal income tax, no inheritance or gift taxes, dividends or capital gains tax 
    • Incredible natural beauty

4. Grenada

Caribbean countries offer the cheapest citizenship through investment programs. And Grenada is not an exception. Grenada’s investment program comes with a package of perks, attracting foreign investors around the world.

  • Minimum investment Amount 

Grenada's National Transformation Fund - 150,000 USD

Real estate purchase - 220,000 USD

  • Benefits
    • Fast processing time for getting a passport within 4 to 6 months
    • No requirements to live in Grenada
    • Visa-free travel to 145 countries
    • The only Caribbean country holding an E-2 Investor Visa Treaty with the USA, which means that Grenada citizens can apply for a working visa to the USA.
    • Citizenship is transferable to spouses and generations
    • No personal income tax, no inheritance or gift taxes, dividends or capital gains tax 
    • Auxiliary costs are relatively affordable.

Europe

1. Greece

The Greece residency by investment program is considered a relatively affordable option compared to other EU citizenship programs. It provides investors and their families with the opportunity to obtain an EU passport and enjoy the benefits of Greek and EU citizenship. The programs can lead to a potential citizenship after 7 years of legal residency.

  • Minimum investment Amount 

Real Estate Property Investment - 250,000 EUR

Greek Government Bonds - 400,000 EUR
Company Capital Contribution - 400,000 EUR

An upcoming increase in the minimum investment amount for the Greece Golden Visa is expected.

  • Benefits
    • Vis-free travel to Schengen countries
    • Freedom to travel, work, and live in any EU member state
    • Family inclusion, which means that spouses, dependant children, and dependent parents can also be included in the program
    • Access to high-quality public healthcare and education

2. Malta

While Malta’s citizenship through an investment program is not the cheapest option, the country offers a favorable environment for business and life, making it an attractive destination for many individuals. In contrast to North Macedonia, Malta’s program requires significant investment, but its overall affordability and quality of life compensate for it. Many businessmen and company owners prefer to set up their businesses in Malta as the corporate tax rate can be as low as 5%. Doesn't this sound alluring?

  • Minimum investment Amount 

Exceptional Service Direct Investment - 600,000 EUR or 750,000 EUR

Investment in real estate - 700,000 EUR

  • Benefits
    • Fast processing time for getting a passport within 12 to 36 months
    • Freedom to travel, work, and live in any EU member state
    • Visa-free travel to 187 countries, including the USA and the UK
    • Business opportunities with the EU, enabling business owners to function more effectively on a global scope
    • Access to high-quality public healthcare and education

Cheapest Citizenship by Investment for Families/Entrepreneurs and Business Owners, Frequent Travelers, Retirees

Cheapest Citizenship through investment programs is designed to cater to the specific needs of different groups. Applicants seeking a better lifestyle for their families, looking to expand their business horizons, craving to gain travel freedom, or desiring to retire in a relaxed and tranquil country have options available through citizenship by investment programs. 

Antigua and Barbuda offers the most favorable conditions for family inclusion. The minimum investment with a spouse is 100,000 USD, while a family of five should be ready to invest a minimum of 125,000 USD. 

For those seeking to discover the world, the Maltese Golden Visa provides a visa-free pathway to 187 countries, including the USA and the UK.

The Caribbean islands are perfect for retirees, each with its unique natural beauty and benefits. The pleasant climate and peaceful and relaxed pace of life are what the majority of retirees are looking for. 

Benefits of Getting Cheapest Citizenship by Investment

Cheapest citizenship by investment is one of the easiest ways to obtain a second passport. It offers many benefits that enhance personal, professional, and financial life. 

Global mobility - Many CBI programs provide a visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel option from 80 to 187 countries, including the USA, the UK, and many other major destinations.  

Lifetime citizenship for future generations - Some CBI programs have this benefit to ensure that the investor’s family members can maintain their citizenship without any further requirements.

Favorable taxation system - To reduce the tax burden, most countries offering CBI programs offer favorable tax treatments, such as no global income, inheritance, wealth, or gift taxes.

Access to high-quality healthcare and education -  Investors and their families have access to public services, including healthcare and education

Fast processing time - Many CBI programs ensure that investors can obtain their citizenship within a few months.

Financial diversification - Investors can protect their assets in countries with strong legal frameworks and financial systems.

Dual citizenship - Many countries, including Antigua and Barbuda, allow dual citizenship, enabling the investors to retain their original passport while enjoying the benefits of the second citizenship.

No residency requirements - Many CBI programs do not require investors to reside in a country before or after obtaining citizenship.

Conclusion

Obtaining second citizenship through investment has become an increasingly attractive option for high-net-worth individuals seeking global mobility, economic opportunities, and better lifestyle conditions. Some of the cheapest citizenship through investment programs are offered by the Caribbean islands and North Macedonia. 

There are many benefits to why people choose the cheapest citizenship through investment programs, including lifetime citizenship for generations, favorable taxation systems, financial diversification, and more. 

Contact one of the agents at Mirabello Consultancy to get more detailed information about the cheapest citizenship through investment programs.

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